It is no secret that microbially contaminated water can lead to a variety of health issues for those who ingest it. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, these medical problems can range from vomiting and cramps to fatigue and sometimes even death. The residents of Port-au-Prince and students of Ecole-Mere-Louise are no different. As explained by Florise Altino-Pierre, the ITIAH Angels for Learning (IAFL) Medical Specialist, the children in these regions suffer from urinary tract infections and gastritis due to the lack of access to clean water. This issue caught the attention of the IAFL members, who subsequently came up with the idea of purchasing Sawyer Water Filtration equipment using donations to the organization.


Sawyer products have been dedicated to protecting individuals from natural and synthetic elements such as bugs and water contaminants since 1984. They offer a variety of water filtration kits equipped with micron absolute hollow fiber membranes that are designed to isolate viruses, heavy metals, chemicals, and any other contaminants. One of their products is the International Bucket System, a combination of water filtration with tubing and accessories made to convert a 5-gallon bucket into a low-cost and long-lasting gravity water filtration system. This system possesses 10 years’ worth of longevity with proper maintenance and specifically removes bacteria, protozoa, cysts, and microplastics.


This project was made possible through the combined efforts of Marie Thadal- founder of IAFL, the vice president of IAFL – Dr. Giorgio Dell’Acqua, and the Robbinsville High School robotics team FRC2590. Specifically, Dr. Dell’Acqua was put in contact with the Sawyer Company through mutual networks that allowed him to investigate and subsequently purchase part of the filtration kit. Likewise, Ms. Thadal was responsible for the purchase and transportation of the buckets necessary for the filtration system. To finalize the process, Team Nemesis, FRC2590, took time from their busy schedule to assemble the filters and fit them in the buckets. Dr. Dell’Acqua hopes to quickly distribute the equipment to specific households that need protection from polluted water. The members of IAFL are confident that healthier students and families have better chances of progressing and thriving in school and inside their communities.


Written by Zahra Fallah

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